“Sh*t me!” I exclaimed as Kyoshiro pointed out my scorched hands. I poked them tenderly and winced. Asha too pouted and glared at the sword which was now safely back in its owner’s hands.
Suddenly someone burst into the main hall letting in a gust of wintry wind with him. “You might find this amusing but I thought I might tell you that there is a large number of Hunters, including dogs, heading straight for the mansion.” He was a male vampire, with black hair and I’d never seen him before, however he was recognised by some who gasped “Raven!” at his arrival. I supposed that was his name. Some of the vampires looked downright frightened, others a little hesitant, but some, like Chesh, shouted out, “These Hunters need to be taught a lesson; we are not picked off so easily. Grab your knives, your guns, whatever you can, and let's show them what they're up against!”
Kyoshiro put his say in as well. “As for the plethora of hunters, the moment they make contact I will fight amongst you. And I can promise that I will never die.” He paused for what I can only assume was supposed to add a sense of further drama to the situation, and then stated, “So, let's fight 'til sunup.”
There was a general agreement amongst the group, and for those who did not agree they were quickly converted. Asha silently slipped next to me in all of the confusion and whispered. “It's ok. I don't care about your past; I understand what you're going through. People think bounty hunters are heartless. Maybe we just hide our pain well. You did something really brave, braver than I did, because you faced something that no one else will fully understand. I know how you are feeling… My first victim was my fiancé…he betrayed me to the Council, who then paid me. I was employed by them.”
I looked her straight in the eyes; she seemed to be telling the truth. There was so much strength in her that I had never seen in myself. Suddenly I realised that probably more than half of us, we who were rejected by our own people, had something to be ashamed of, and something to hide. Many had killed, and even more had probably killed those they loved the most. I was ready to fight to the death, but not for me this time; for them all. “So, are we going to get these Hunters then?”
She nodded and gave me a pat on the shoulder before running into Jay’s arms. He caught my eye before sweeping her into a huge hug, and I think we reached a silent understanding. It was enough of an apology for now.
Just as we were all about to take positions in the forest to ambush the hunters a small voice, tiny even, called from the staircase. “I can help.” A new silence fell upon the mansion. Kyoshiro rudely demanded she introduce herself.
“My name's Harmony and well, I have a unique gift… I can basically put anyone under a trance but it only works when I sing… My question is how many, what gender, what age range and how many dogs?” More silence. “Well?” She fiddled with her shirt and met each of our eyes.
Feeling brave I stepped forward and said, “We need all the help we can get.” Raven and Kyoshiro scoffed, and I spun around to face them. “It’s easy for you to be so confident when you have vampire killing weapons, but for the rest of us we have to rely on our skills alone. And if someone has a skill like that I think we should use it to full advantage.”